I recently finished another sheet music project. My first was a dresser that I created in tribute to a wonderful woman named Evie. She passed away this year from cancer and I couldn’t think of a better way to honor her than to adorn a dresser with sheet music from an 1800’s hymnal and call it by her namesake. You can read about that project here.
My second sheet music project turned out just as beautiful! My subject was in pretty poor shape when I purchased it from Craig’s List. Here is the photo from the listing.
As you can see, it had great potential but was in rough condition.
I started this project by stripping and staining the top. I knew that there was beautiful wood underneath all of that chipping black paint, and I was right! Personally, I prefer to refinish the top of my pieces before I paint the body. That way, if you dribble some chemical stripper or wood stain on the body of your piece, you won’t ruin your paint job.
Once It was stripped, I took to sanding it. Unfortunately, there was burn mark in the corner that just refused to come up.
This little burn mark actually spoke to me. I see my furniture projects as a reflection of God’s restorative work in my life. He speaks to me through every piece.
I was pretty disappointed that no matter what I tried, this mark refused to come up. It got me thinking about how there are some burn marks from our past experiences that we carry with us. No matter what we try to do to remove them, nothing seems to work. They stick with us. My hands couldn’t remove the stain, but the hands of the Master Restorer can make all things new. He is the only One who could have removed the stains that I carried from my past. He has given me a fresh start, and I live every day as a new creation.
Isn’t He just so good like that?
So after a good sanding, this little washstand got a coat of General Finishes Java Gel Stain.
This stain is pure gold. I have never been disappointed with the finish it provides, and this washstand was no different.
You can still see the burn mark on the finished piece, but I think that’s OK. It’s an imperfection that I can’t remove or fix, but it lets you know that this piece has a past and has been used. That’s one of the aspects of owning and using antique pieces of furniture. They aren’t always perfect, but they are beautiful!
After finishing the top, it was time to decoupage the fronts of all of my sad drawers and the little door.
If you ever have a piece with drawer fronts in rough condition, don’t underestimate the power of decoupage! I used the beautiful sheet music from the same hymnal I used on my previous project.
The pages have the prettiest natural patina
As you can see, it’s falling apart due to use (and ripping from your’s truly).
But man oh man, is that paper pretty!
Can you see the date on the front cover? Looks like 1896 to me!
To decoupage music, decorative paper, or any other type of material on the fronts of drawers, start with a decoupage medium. Using a chip brush, brush it on the area where you’re going to apply your paper. I highly recommend working in small sections to prevent your decoupage medium from drying.
Brush some medium on the back of your paper, and then lay it down, smoothing as you go to get rid of air bubbles. I actually purchased a brayer (rubber roller) from my local craft store, and it works like a champ.
Just be aware that as you smooth, the extra medium will ooze its way out of the edges, so use your brush to spread it out.
After your surfaces are all covered, I like to take a piece of sandpaper to “cut” the extra from the edges.
I run my sandpaper perpendicular to the edge, and it works like a charm every time!
After your edges are all trimmed up, apply a few coats of your medium on the top to seal and protect your beautiful handiwork!
Here’s the front of one of the drawers,
and the front of the little door.
Decoupage can be quite messy, but it’s worth it. Trust me!
After my drawers and door were finished, it was time to turn my attention to the body of my piece. Because the base color was black, I didn’t want to jump right into painting my desired color, Miss Mustard Seed’s Linen, on right away. I was afraid I would get bleed through from the black.
Instead, I mixed up some Schloss first and painted on one coat. Not only is Schloss one of the milk paint colors of the month for October, it is a beautiful warm grey, so it served as a primer base color in between the black and Linen!
Of course I had to mix it in something pretty, like this ironstone mug.
Lovely and creamy. Just as it should be!
Here is the Schloss going on.
See how it could act as a primer? Not only did this act as my base, it helped me reduce the amount of coats of Linen I needed to apply.
While my coat of Schloss was drying, I brushed some Hemp Oil on to the drawers to revive them. See the difference it made? The drawer on the left is untreated, and the one on the right has the Hemp Oil on it. The wood soaked it up immediately!
I painted on three coats of Linen next and was so happy to see that I got natural chipping and crazing! This is what using milk paint is all about. You have to allow yourself to “go with the flow” and let it do what it does.
Those crackles are completely natural! I didn’t do anything special to get the paint to do this. It did it on its own, which is one of the many reasons why it’s so fun to paint with Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint!
I chose milk paint over other options because I felt that it would create an old feel on this piece. I’m so happy it didn’t dry perfectly! I just wouldn’t look right otherwise.
To seal all of that lovely chipping and crazing from further distressing, I used Tough Coat.
Tough coat is a water-based top coat in the milk paint line that is just perfect for extra protection
It brushes on and dries completely clear.
Yes, I used my ironstone mug again. Sometimes, using pretty things to help with your transformations makes you feel good inside.
Tough coat really shines when you use it as a sealer for chipping paint. It brushed on beautifully and was just the trick to give my piece a little extra protection.
The last step was to rub a Wax Puck on the runners and tracks of all of the drawers. This helps them slide in and out easily, and I NEVER forget this step on my pieces. It really makes a difference. If you don’t have a Wax Puck, you can use some Furniture Wax or even a candle.
And here is the grand reveal!
I staged this piece with a simple ironstone platter rimmed with gold,
and an ironstone pitcher filled with wheat and branches.
I picked up this lovely pitcher with Marian when we were on our way up to visit the Purple Painted Lady a few weeks ago. She has an eye for spotting good ironstone deals, and I was more than happy to benefit from it!
I just love decorating with natural elements, especially in the Fall! They are a simple way to bring the feeling of the season into your home while adding fun texture as the same time.
The original handles look lovely against the sheet music.
Not all of the hardware is original, but this subtle glass knob allows you to open the door now. Previously, there was just a keyhole with no key. I removed the lock mechanism and inserted this glass knob in its place. (And I even rubbed the side of the door with my Wax Puck to allow it to open and close smoothly!)
Here’s another yummy shot of that chipping Linen milk paint. I’ve never painted with this color, and I really like how it complimented the color of the sheet music. It’s a beautiful off white option for any project!
I’m not sure if I will ever get tired of replicating this look.
It certainly proved to be just the ticket to give this washstand a beautiful makeover!